So here we are, at the season end. An enjoyable, but disappointing, season. As season with as many ups and downs as a rollercoaster. Yes, this is what we've got used to at The Valley, but as our first season writing this blog has come to an end, here is our annual season review.
Over the summer of 2004, we invested in the playing squad by buying Dennis Rommedahl, Talal El Kakouri, Francis Jeffers and Danny Murphy as well as Brian Hughes.August
So Having bought these players, The Valley Faithful went into the new season with a certain confidence, with the biggest players to hit The Valley in recent years! Our first match brought Bolton away at the Reebok. We lost 4-1, we couldn't have had a worst start to the season! 4-1 was dreadful. The first home match at The Valley meant us beating Portsmouth 2-1, only due to a slip up by Shaka Hislop. Good Good, Bolton could have been excused for first day nerves! Next home match was against Aston Villa at home. 3-1 it finished. Francis Jeffers scored two and did his famed slide right in front of me and Joel. At last, we thought we had found a striker! - 4th In the League after that great Match! August finished with us loosing 4-0 away to Manchester City. Couldn't Believe it!September
A disappointing 0-0 draw with Southampton at home saw the first Match at The Valley in September followed by a 1-1 draw with Birmingham later that week. Our favourite Carling Cup came around for us to beat Grimsby Town 2-0 to put us in the next round against our lovely neighbours Palace. We went back into winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Blackburn at the end of the week.October
The first big match of the season came at Highbury against Arsenal. A 4 - nil thrashing was not good. Another 4 goals conceded to add to our tally of two previous matches where 4 goals were scored past us. A right dissapointing way to start October. Our so called Centenary Match vs Newcastle shown on Sky was meant to be a special day - 1-1 you couldn't complain, but we were left gritting our teeth after Matty Holland's last gasp half shot hit the post. Then the away trip up to Anfield, the damn scousers couldn't even go light on thier old favourite Danny Murphy and scored 2 past us with no reply. To cap off that poor performance, a 2-1 beating by Palace putting us out of the cup really summed the month up - Poor. Then a 2-1 home defeat to Middlesborough which meant no wins at all in October with only 1 point picked up.November
So Jacques Santini's departure as Spurs' Boss the day before the game at White Hart Lane put us Addicks in good spirits going into the game. And what a game it was. We went 3-0 up through 2 amazing Shaun Bartlett goals, but they managed to get two goals back in a game that was so nailbiting! Next week we contuinued our good spirits by beating Norwich 4-0. Yes, this is what we want, maybe after a shaky start Europe really is for us. But we still had to play Man Utd at Old Trafford and Chelsea at home. The first loosing 2-0 and the latter 4-0. At least they were out of the way :SDecember
First match of the festive period brought us Palace at Selhurst. What a match is was! Live on Sky Sports and the viewers probably thought it was a fairly boring match, but me as a fan, sitting as one of the 1000 Charlton fans there (due to the outrageous ticket prices the stupid club set) found it so tense. Deano saved an Andy Johnson penalty, and then 92 minutes, Jerome Thomas makes a run down the left, passes to Murphy, Ref is looking at his watch, through to Rommedahl, takes it inside the defender, shoots, AND WE HAVE WON! As the commentary said "Rommedahl, he can hit it, he can win it!". We went absolutely mental. We had beaten our rivals by a goal to nil. Despite keeping us in the ground 40 minutes after the final whistle, we didn't care. The atmosphere was amazing, random Charlton fans who I have never met shaking hands with me, us all jumping on the ledge infront of our seats. Its like we had won the cup! But what a game. December continued as a great month - beating West Brom away 1-0, beating Fulham live on Sky 2-1, drawing away 0-0 with Southampton, then beating Everton 2-0 at The Valley - another amazing match to be at! If we had played like this every month, we would have definately finished in Europe!January
So Chris Powell and Graham Stuart left in the Transfer window to West Ham and Norwich respectively. We started off the month at home, against Arsenal. It was 1-1 at half time, through Talal El Kakouri equalising with his wonderstrike free kick from half way through Arsenal's half of the pitch. This ended up being voted Goal of the Season. Unfortunately, we lost 3-1. The amount of matches through the Christmas Period had obviously taken its toll upon us as we lost 1-0 away against Blackburn. But we seemed to pick ourselves up again beating Rochdale 4-1 in the FA Cup 3rd round 4-1, then Birmingham 3-1 followed by an away win at Everton 1-0. We finished the month beating Yeovil Town 3-2 in the Cup. Another great month!February
Our first match of the Month was a poor 2-1 loss against Liverpool at home, despite taking a 1-0 lead. Away at Newcastle, Rommedahl picked his moment to scored again and make it 1-1. He scored a minute after they scored - what is it with this guy and minutes! Then the tragedy. Being drawn against Leicster City in the Cup, I thought we may have had a good run in the cup, possibly even getting to Cardiff in this, our Centenary Season. But No, through a poor performance and a last minute winner from Dion Dublin, Leicster knocked us out of the cup. Absolutely pathetic - I couldn't belive what I was witnessing! After this, a disapointing draw - 2-2 with Middlesborough away. After 2 strong Months this one was a very poor one in my view.March
The month started with a 0-0 draw against Fulham at The Cottage (despite Shaun Bartlett missing a Sitter) but then a 2-0 win at home against Spurs, where the Valley Faithful witnessed a wonderstrike from Jerome Thomas. But this was when our season really started to plummit. We lost 4-1 at the Valley against relegation strugglers West Brom. Although many could blame this on a dreadful performance from the Ref, we just did not play at all well. An unbelievable loss. That was a disapointing end to an alright month.April
The second to last month of this years Premiership campaign started with a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester City. We were lucky in this case as Chris Perry headed home a last minute equaliser seconds before the whistle. The following weekend's trip to Pompey was very poor. I was in attendance to witness a great comeback from Charlton, but to then throw it all away in the last 10 minutes. Having gone 2-0 up in the first 25 minutes (the only plus point seeing myself and Chris on Match Of The Day!) Jonothan Fortune got a brilliantly headed goal seconds after their second. Danny Murphy's crafty free kick got us level just before the break. Despite a fairly mixed second half performance, Pompey went 3-2 up in the 82nd to finish it off in the 88th at 4-2. Another 4 goals to add to our goals conceded tally. Next was Bolton at home. A 2-1 loss and another poor performance. Our last midweek fixture of the season was against Aston Villa away, a poor game that finished 0-0. Finally, to sum up our month, Former Addick Mathias Svensson scored a late winner for Norwich at Carrow Road to give us another defeat and the sights of europe completely down the drain.May
Maybe a good run in the final month of the premiership 2004/2005 was in the minds of us fans. But that was not to happen. The 2 big guns Man Utd and Chelsea were still to play. After a good start at home against Man Utd, we lost the game 4-0. A pathetic performance but a notable debut for Goalkeeper Stefan Andersen. This dashed our hopes of beating Chelsea, but I and all of the other fans were wrong. A day that was meant for Chelsea, a day where they were lifting the trophy, a day where they were meant to thrash Charlton, a day that never happend, but a day where the small club named Charlton gave it all they got against the mighty rich club of Chelsea. We could have easily won through near misses of Jonothan Fortune and Matty Holland plus another great performance by Stefan Andersen. It was going to be a draw until skinny lanky ugly shit Mike Riley gave a penalty for a dive by Frank Lampard, and a dive that started outside the box trying to make out Jon Fortune had tackled him badly. Andersen saved the inital penalty but the spill of the ball enabled the Rich Bitches a victory. Then they lifted the cup. Our final match, on the day Sky christened 'Survival Sunday', was against Palace, beat them and they are down, even a draw might be good enough. We played poorly but completely against the run of play we went 1-0 up through Brian Hughes. The second half started well, but Dean Kiely made a big mistake and enabled a Palace player to chip him and make the match equal. He did do a good starjump though! Then, the big no no no no no no no happened. Jon Fortune handballed inside the box and they got a penalty, this time Andy Johnson scored sending Kiely the wrong way. 8 minutes left to go, and we get a free kick. Jerome Thomas sends the ball in, Jon Fortune forgives his earlier mistake and equalises with a header! Amazing, we relegated Palace! YAY!
West Brom were safe thanks to us, in more ways than one (the 4-1 thrashing of us at The Valley)Overalls
Season Rating - 5/10 - a poor season in comparison to last season's 7th place finishing.
Player of the Season - Talal El Kakouri - an amazing defender with goalscoring capabilites.
Young Player of the Season - Jerome Thomas - an absolute bargain of £100,000 from Arsenal.
Goal of the Season - Talal El Kakouri vs Arsenal - A free kick wonderstrike.
Match of the Season - Vs Palace - December 2004 - a penalty save from Kiely and a last minute strike from Dennis Rommedahl seals the 3 points.
Disappointment of the season - Shaun Bartlett - a good enough player, just hasn't shown his true capabilities as a striker this season with too many missed chances.Next Season
Next season we need to stop thinking about Premiership survival and instead think of European football. Stefan Andersen set to shine.
I will be a season ticket holder with Chris next season in the North Block, so North Block views from next season!